Category Archives: Smugness

The Trust of a Sexual Healer/Performance Artist

I was at home when my husband recently called from out in the world. He was at a gas station and had just discovered a lonely Master Card, on the ground, next to the pump. Rather than suggesting I quickly book us a Lost-themed Hawaiian vacation or buy a fat gift certificate to Circuit City, he wanted me to do a little detective work to return the card to its owner. “Sweet!…Oh…OK…Why don’t you just leave it with the attendant?” He is good. I’m glad he hadn’t read my mind.

There was no immediate listing for Elizabeth Kaden (name changed to protect the unawares).  Google brought up a few misspellings, someone on Facebook, someone in Kansas, and finally:

Liz Kaden is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, an intuitive sound healer and performance artist…


As it turns out, Miss Kaden is, among other titles, a performance artist and sexual healer. According to her website, she is “deeply passionate and committed to helping others explore and expand their own unique creative essence”, and believes that “self-expression through healthy sexuality and creativity can be the key to greater liberation and fulfillment in life”. She is currently living in San Francisco and is exploring her own life as both a healer and artist.

From this page Miss Kaden sells her “Sacred Sexuality Essence”. With only twenty drops under the tongue daily, the tincture claims to clear negative thoughts about sexuality, eliminate chaos and untangle the co-dependent. Using simple ingredients such as: essence of hand-picked wisteria, “conscious sexual healing energy, spring water, brandy (to preserve) and love”, for $15, plus $5 shipping and handling, Liz will send you a bottle, quantity unspecified.

I have so many questions. How do you get conscious sexual healing energy into an eyedropper? Is the brandy there to preserve the energy or the love? Don’t people already do that? Whose wisteria is she picking?  What is intuitive sound? Not to profile, but aren’t sexual healers/intuitive sound healers/singers/performance artists, exactly the demographic for who might lose their ATM card at a Berkeley 76 station?

Below two testimonials, a phone number is listed.

A few minutes later, she calls back. The voice is younger than I was expecting. She’s frazzled but grateful. This will come back to us. Good energy. In the middle of a move, running around today, could she drop by the house tomorrow, or possibly the next day? She’s got a lot on her plate what with work and the move. I volunteer to drop it in the mail, but she insists that she doesn’t want to be any trouble, but actually now that she’s thinking about it, could she maybe come on Monday evening instead?

A trusting sort. This would *never* happen in New York.

After a few more calls to reschedule and write down our address again, a meeting is finally arranged three days later. She would even bring us a bottle of sacred essence to thank us.  She, a kindly, if unfocused Mother Nature. Me, freakin’ Mother Teresa.

We were surprised (one of us answered the door, the other was peeking through the blinds) when I opened to a pert young Cathy Rigby look-alike. A 20-something year-old blond with her blue Toyota station wagon still running out front. I’ll give her chaos, and possibly co-dependency, but what would she know about sexual disorder? Conveniently, all of her essence was in storage while she was moving, but she would definitely mail us a bottle whenever she gets organized… A few more thanks, and assurance that karma owed us one, but she had to dash.

After locking the deadbolt, I’m not sure which of us got out an “Uhnt uh!” first.

We have not heard from her since. I don’t expect to. That’s OK. That part’s the same.


Drinks Out With a Manhattanite

Regardless of the number of delicious vodka-based beverages I sucked down the other night, my headache the next morning could not be described as either “teeny” or “tini”. I’ve only managed a few benders over the past few years, so it should be no surprise that the night’s adventures in mixology were with a single friend, in town from the Upper West Side.

My friend, who has been to San Francisco on numerous occasions, is a capital M, capital S, Manhattan Snob. It was great to see her, but she spent much of the evening missing New York and bemoaning California. “At least we’re not in L.A.”, she said at one point. I felt like the mother pressured by a gum-chewing skeptic to explain how she loves each of her children’s unique qualities. Still incredulous: “I can’t believe that YOU, of all people, would move from New York to California…”  Judging by my friend’s expression as I tried to quantify my new found joy of hiking, I realized that I hadn’t really struck a chord. Similarly, my description of the weekend’s Maker Faire fell flat to this (impressively titled) employee of the Lincoln Center. She had abandoned her half-eaten meal in favor of a cigarette by the time I got to the “how cool it is to have such a year-round array of fresh vegetables” card.

The food was good, the drinks tasty, the service friendly, but when the packed hipster restaurant emptied out by 11pm, my friend gave out a sarcastic “What IS this?”. The dishwasher was mopping around our table when we finally took the hint around 11:40. She relayed that just last week she’d had to wait 45 minutes to get a table at a trendy Meat Packing District restaurant at 4am. I know the place well, and miss it on those rare occasions when I’m drunk and peckish for French food in the wee hours.

We hugged as I put her into a cab, which she was surprised to have hailed so quickly. “Next time let’s meet in New York”, she suggested with still leftover disdain.  I ran off to narrowly catch the last BART ride home of the night.

“I’m from New York!”

Have you ever noticed the city-savvy NYC denizens who can navigate the subway with their head in a book, nattily dress for any occasion, knowledgeably order dim sum for the group, cheerfully ease from their Italian butcher, to Korean tailor, to Pakistani grocer, and later hail a cab home – face back in book – are the same people who visit other cities and loudly declare that they don’t know how to get around? “Why would I know how to do that? I’m from New York!”

I have.